Whether you’re due to have your wisdom teeth removed or are confused about why your wisdom teeth still haven’t emerged, check out this article in which we answer all your common questions on wisdom teeth and the removal process.
About Wisdom Teeth
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are large molars which usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 24. They are located at the very back of your mouth, on each side of the upper and lower jaw.
In the majority of cases, wisdom teeth will appear without causing you any problems. However, if there is not enough space for the wisdom teeth to grow, they can become ‘impacted’ and will need to be removed.
Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
While most people have four wisdom teeth, some people only have three, two, one, or even none at all. Your dentist can take an x-ray to determine whether you have wisdom teeth and, if so, how many you have.
What are the symptoms of my wisdom teeth coming in?
Often, wisdom teeth will emerge without causing any issues. However, if wisdom teeth become wedged in – or ‘impacted’ – due to lack of space, this can cause infection and inflammation in the tissue covering the impacted tooth.
You may notice symptoms like swollen red gums and stiffness in your jaw, as well as feeling generally unwell. In some cases, a cyst can form around the impacted wisdom tooth, which can damage surrounding bone, teeth, and gums. Although antibiotics can be used for infections, impacted wisdom teeth will generally need to be removed.
Before Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
What happens before my wisdom teeth extraction?
Your Apple Dental practitioner will go through the wisdom teeth removal process with you and answer any questions you may have. They’ll also need to know about any medications you’re currently taking, whether you’re aware of any issues relating to surgery or anaesthesia, or if you have a history of heavy bleeding. In some cases, your mouth will be x-rayed prior to the treatment.
Can I eat or drink before my wisdom teeth removal procedure?
This will depend on whether your procedure will take place under local or general anaesthetic (more on this below). For procedures under local anaesthetic, patients can have a light meal and some fluids up to an hour before surgery. If you’ll be going under general anaesthetic, you’ll usually need to fast for 6-12 hours prior to your surgery. For details on whether you can eat and drink before your wisdom teeth removal, check with your dentist.
During Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
What does wisdom teeth removal surgery involve?
For many people, wisdom teeth removal will follow the same process as extraction of any other normal tooth. Sometimes, the dentist may need to make an incision and closed with stitches.
Wisdom teeth extraction is usually a quick procedure, taking between 30 and 60 minutes.
Will I need to be under local or general anaesthetic for wisdom teeth removal?
In most cases of wisdom teeth removal is performed under local anaesthetic, which means the teeth and gums are numbed so you feel no pain or sensation. This enables the procedure to take place while you are awake.
In unusual cases, such as where the tooth is difficult to remove, we may refer you to an oral surgeon.
After Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
How will I feel after my wisdom teeth surgery?
Common symptoms which you may experience after your wisdom teeth extraction:
- Drowsiness: If you’ve been under sedation or general anaesthesia, you should avoid driving and arrange for someone to help out at home for the next 1-2 days.
- Pain: Your dentist is likely to recommend painkillers for up to a week after surgery, to help with any pain you experience.
- Bleeding: It’s common to have some bleeding after your surgery. Your dentist will discuss options to manage post-surgery bleeding.
- Swelling of the jaw: If you experience a swollen jaw, you can apply ice straight after surgery. The swelling should subside after 4-5 days.
Are there any risks or complications of wisdom teeth removal surgery?
While complications are rare with wisdom teeth removal, your dentist will discuss any potential risks or side effects that could occur.
At Apple Dental, our dentists are specialists in wisdom teeth removal. If you’d like more information about wisdom teeth removal surgery in Lane Cove, contact the Apple Dental team and let us take the worry out of wisdom teeth extraction.